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Dogs in Stores
Greater acceptance or backlash—where are we on the curve?
Should dogs be allowed in grocery stores?

The title says it all, “Oregon Wants ‘Dog-Friendly’ to Be Less So.” The piece in today’s New York Times continues a conversation we’ve been having on the blog about service dogs and access. (See related links, below.) The focus here is dogs in Portland food stores. Not only was I surprised people were bringing their dogs into food markets, I was horrified by reports that dogs are doing their business in the aisles. No advocate for access can think that’s a good thing.

Then there’s the expanding debate over what constitutes a service dog—and from the sound of things, people are stretching the term so far as to threaten its true meaning. Passing out faux “service dog” cards or arguing that because your dog makes you feel better he’s a service dog only creates larger hurdles for individuals with true physical, mental and emotional challenges.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com


CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Linda | September 3 2009 |

RE: Dogs in Stores
I don't like restricting dogs to any place a human can go.

There is nothing about a dog that makes it dirtier than a human, except for its care or living conditions. Its urine is as sterile as human urine is. I've seen babies, elderly people, and pregnant women accidentally lose it in stores. They are embarrassed and require someone to clean up after them just as a well-behaved, trained dog would. Our dogs need MORE access to our lives in order to become as socialized and trained as our children are. And people need to be more responsible for them in these environments.

My adult daughter has suffered with an anxiety disorder from childhood. It's not "faux", but it is undetectable to a casual observer. Her Pug would alert her, when out with her shopping, when her anxiety level was close to "critical mass", so she could leave the store. Coincidentally, in the past, when that level was reached without an alert, SHE would wet the floor!

Submitted by Kayla | September 6 2009 |

Dogs should be welcomed anywhere we depend on them for protection and companions. A dog will be by your side when nobody else is. I raise Labrador Retrievers and love each and everyone as if they was my children

Submitted by Carolyn | September 13 2009 |

I used to take my small dog in her soft-sided pet carrier into the grocery store. It fit on the lower level of the cart and worked perfectly well. It was discreet and she was quiet. No chance of an "accident." We live in a very hot climate (Central America) where leaving a dog in the car is simply never an option. So this worked well for us. Then one day there was a "no pets" sign and we were escorted out of the store (I'd missed seeing the sign). If pets were eliminating in the store and owners not taking responsibility for clean up, then I can hardly blame the management. People who fail to clean up after their dogs on trails and in other public places ruin it for the rest of us more responsible owners.

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